ERC expands ILP coverage to attract more participants

By Iris C. Gonzales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 20 2015 07:40 AM | Updated as of Mar 20 2015 03:40 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), the power regulator, wants to draw in more participants for the so-called Interruptible Load Program (ILP), a ranking official said.

As such, the commission has expanded its coverage of ILP rules, said ERC executive director Saturnino Juan.

“To make the ILP more responsive in mitigating system emergencies, the ERC expanded its coverage and introduced other changes to its ILP rules to include and attract more participants to join. More participants mean additional reductions in overall demand to be realized. With this, the anticipated critical supply condition during certain peak periods in the next few months is addressed more effectively and in a cost-efficient manner,” Juan said.

The existing ILP rules allow only distribution utilities such as Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to implement the program.

Thus, the ERC proposed amendments to existing ILP rules to allow the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, the grid operator, to implement the ILP so that its direct customers could also participate and provide additional capacity.

These other customers include economic zones and other DUs aside from Meralco.

The ILP is a program that encourages heavy electricity consumers such as malls and condominiums, to run their own generator sets to ease demand from the grid. In exchange, they are compensated for using their own power.

The expanded rules would address the imminent power shortage and augment the limited power requirements of any of the three grids – Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and not just the needed capacity of distribution utilities.

“These rules shall apply to all DUs and their respective participating captive customer within their franchise area, to all DUs that entered into a tripartite ILP agreement with a retail electricity supplier (RES) and its participating contestable customers, and the NGCP that entered into an ILP agreement with a participating directly-connected customer,” the ERC earlier said in the proposed amendments.

Under the ILP, a DU and its participating customer must enter into an agreement wherein the customer may be requested to fully or partially de-load from the DU during a specific period of time as determined by the DU.

For customers that are directly connected the grid, the ILP must be administered by the NGCP through an agreement whereby it should perform the activities performed by the DU.

According to the amendment, the DU or the NGCP must call on the ILP participants as soon as a grid goes on red alert or when there is severe power deficiency.

A yellow alert, on the other hand, means, reserves have fallen below the minimum level.

The Luzon grid is facing a shortage of 700 megawatts this summer of 2015 due to projected higher demand and lack of capacity.

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